Zillow has been busy. That makes sense – it takes a lot of research activity and media attention to create the massive online presence they have. Their latest release is a data analysis with this headline: “14% of Renters Can Afford to Buy.” It’s human nature to react to headlines, and that’s a statement that can either prompt people to say, “Maybe I can qualify to buy a home!” or “There’s more than an 80% chance I can’t qualify to buy a home.” Outside of an initial reaction to a news story, many renters really do want to know two things: Could I buy a home? Should I buy a home? It’s definitely worth finding out the answer to both of these questions.
The “could” question can easily be answered by talking to a qualified mortgage loan officer. Qualified lenders can tell you what your status is now and help you get prepared to get approved for a loan if you’re not quite ready or have some work or organizing to do with your financing. A loan officer can help you plan and give you a timeline.
The “should” question is a little more complicated. Ultimately, the individual consumer needs to decide that homeownership is for them. Realtors can provide information to help you decide if owning a home will help you move forward with your goals in the short and long term. Housing is the biggest monthly expense most of us have. Advice from a qualified mortgage loan officer and Realtor can help you figure out how to get the best return on that huge monthly investment.
The GCS Title team and I can introduce you to great people who can help you answer the “coulds” and “shoulds” of owning a home. We’re here to help! ~Charlie
A very official-sounding report called “Government Regulation in the Price of a New Home” released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that has some surprising info. It claims that government regulations and the cost of complying with them make up nearly one-fourth of the price of a new home. Think about that as you walk through the model on a new construction project or a house on the Parade of Homes! You can read about it yourself at https://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2016/05/regulatory-costs-account-for-nearly-a-quarter-of-the-price-of-a-new-home.aspx .
Apparently, the costs associated with regulation have jumped 30% between 2011 and 2015 which coincides with the launch of the main agency and many new rules associated with the Dodd Frank reform bill. NAHB’s CEO Jerry Howard says “The cost of regulation in the price of a new home is rising more than twice as fast as the average American’s ability to pay for it. That is simply not sustainable.” Even though the rules and regulations that have been created for and imposed on real estate and mortgage transactions were mostly created by politicians, our “On the House” blog isn’t about politics. We’re here to share important and interesting news that affects consumers, mortgage loan officers and Realtors.
We at GCS Title think the takeaway is this: The NAHB report highlights how many regulations there are and we’re here to help consumers and our real estate and mortgage partners navigate the rules to successful closing. Our entire team is dedicated to making the process as easy and comfortable for everyone involved. Got questions? We’re here to help!
The Spring-Summer market is underway and everywhere you read and watch, you’ll find comments about the real estate market, interest rate movement, shortages of homes for sale in certain areas and price ranges. People outside the real estate and mortgage industries may wonder what it all means – and if they don’t, they should. It’s so easy to draw a conclusion about how the market’s doing, whether or not it’s a good time to buy or sell, if mortgage interest rates are good and so on. The problem with that is, it’s virtually impossible to know whether or not that conclusion is true without information from a real estate and mortgage professional that was researched and prepared specifically for an individual or family. Here are some questions consumers should NEVER try to answer by reading the news or surfing the net alone:
- Can I afford and qualify for a home?
- Can I get enough money for my home to buy a different one?
- Are interest rates good or should I wait to see if they’ll go lower?
- Is it a good time to buy a home or are prices going to hold steady or go down?
These are just a few typical questions that should be verified with a review of your personal situation. Drawing the wrong conclusion based on general information or statistics can cause you to miss an opportunity. Don’t worry – you don’t have to “sign your life away” to get a professional, specific opinion. We at GCS Title work with many experienced professionals and can connect you with people who can answer your questions with no obligation or pressure. Let us know what questions are on your mind – we’re happy to help you get them answered. ~ Charlie
On the House
Charlie Lawson – GCS Title
Bank of America released its inaugural Homebuyer Insights Report and there was a stat that really jumped out at me: 35% of the people 18 or older surveyed who want to buy a home in the future say they plan to retire wherever they buy. Some of our parents – and probably a lot of our grandparents – lived in one home for most of their adult lives, but the last few decades have seen people buying, selling and moving every 3-7 years. Here are some of the other responses to the survey questions along with some important talking points that we as real estate professionals need to be sure consumers hear and understand:
32% of Millennials said they will wait to pay down debt before buying a home
We need to stress that paying off debt isn’t the only aspect of qualifying for a mortgage and how important it is to make an overall plan for debt, credit and payment-preparedness. “Waiting to pay down debt” doesn’t mean you’re qualified – there are more pieces to the puzzle.
66% of Millennials said they would likely need assistance from their parents to buy their first home
It’s important to include rules and parameters for gift money as well as highlight and publicize the various down payment assistance programs available in our state, cities and counties.
75% of first-time homebuyers said they would skip bypass a starter home in favor of something more desirable
Going from renter to homeowner is a big step for anyone, so making a larger leap from the starting block will require more strategic planning. Again, talking to a lender far in advance of when a consumer *thinks* they’ll be ready to buy is the best way to learn about and maximize opportunity.
My team and I are here to help our Realtor and Loan Officer partners communicate the current conditions and issues in our market as well as help spread the word about the incredible benefits of homeownership. Let’s talk!
Home is where the heart is, but do you know the definition of family? Apparently, it’s whatever we think it is – and the government, businesses and marketers are officially recognizing six different family types. The U.S. Census Bureau classifies families as: Traditional, multi-generational, single-parent, same sex, blended, older parent with young children and boomerang (families where adult children have returned home). When it comes to real estate, we need to think about how to help, serve and talk to these groups. At GCS Title, we partner with our Realtor and Loan Officer colleagues to help promote homeownership. These new officially-recognized family units all have different needs – that’s why I reach out to the public, even though title is really more of a like a “wholesale” aspect of a real estate transaction compared to Realtors and lenders being the “retail” parts. At GCS, we’ll answer any questions you have about buying or selling and help connect you with Realtors and Loan Officers who can address your specific needs.
~Charlie Lawson, GCS Title